The other day I found myself watching 'dry' comic book cleaning videos on YouTube and decided to give it a try. The videos showed individuals using various eraser type tools to remove unwanted marks, inks, and other imperfections - I thought to myself how hard could this possibly be?
Here is the account of my first cleaning attempts.
Step 1: The Supplies
Not having much knowledge aside from what I watched online I decided to stick to the basics. I purchased several Hi-Polymer White Erasers, 1 Rubber Eraser, and utilized an old paint brush laying around the house. Total investment was $5 from Amazon.
Step 2: The Lucky Candidates
Several years back I bought a lot of 300 Valiant Comics which contained many damaged and poor condition issues. I had no trouble finding several lucky participants from this box. I chose two H.A.R.D. Corps issues because of their white colored covers - one contains a decent Jim Lee cover.
Step 3: Let's Get Cleaning
I have to caveat that I am not a finesse person and rely on brute force. That brute force is not ideal for cleaning these books. But I did my best to be patient and methodical in the process.
I started with H.A.R.D. Corps #7 which was very dirty on the left hand top corner of the issue. I took half of the rubber eraser and rolled it into a small stick and used it like a pencil to go over color and small trouble areas. I attempted to blot with the eraser - but settled on light rubbing followed by reshaping the rubber and using different parts as the pencil point.
The regular eraser I used on all white areas - it will take color away if you use it on anything else. This an easy process and I used the paint brush to get rid of eraser residue.
I spent approximately 30 minutes on each book - slightly going over areas either with the white or rubber eraser based on the color of the troubled areas.
Step 4: Results of H.A.R.D. Corps 7
Here you can see a lot of the markings have been removed - at the expense of the Valiant box and price tag. The second image seems much better and I didn't sacrifice any additional colors.
There was a lot of markings along the spine which I was able to remove. This was easy as the white eraser does work miracles. Does not seem to be at the expense of anything major.
Overall I think the issue seems much cleaner. You can see the top right of the after photo has a dip from where I creased it.
Step 5: Results of H.A.R.D. Corps 1
The spine of the book is much cleaner. I was more careful around that Valiant Star and kept the majority of the black intact - hey it even reads $2.50.
Overall it does seem much cleaner.
Step 6: Lessons
Let me know in the comments what you think. Have you attempted this before? Have any lessons or suggestions that can improve the process?
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